“Oh my head.” Robin whispered as he stirred awake.
It took a few moments for him to fully regain consciousness. His last memory was of chasing someone across the Gotham rooftops, now he was in someone’s apartment.
“I’ve been captured!” He screamed in his mind as he suddenly realized he was under restraints.
Taking a deep breath, he willed himself to think calmly, just as Batman as taught him. Take stock of the situation, then form a plan of action.
The room was in semi-darkness, illuminated only by the moonlight filtering through the skylight. Bright blue eyes surveyed the loft. Not much to see. A studio apartment, very nondescriptive. Could be anywhere in Gotham City—or for that matter any city. A small bed, three dressers, small kitchenette. Then he noticed two suitcases in the corner. Someone was either just moving in or ready to move out.
Next he again tried his bonds. No good, they were strong leather straps. He was strapped to some sort of homemade wooden table, attached to some sort of wheel and pulley system that allowed the bed to be raised and lowered. He could be turned straight up to a standing position or laid flat. Currently he was locked into an forty five degree angle. If anything, it reminded him of something out of those old Frankenstein movies.
“Ok, I’m not strong enough to break out of this.” He said to himself. “So let’s consider rescue options.”
Across the room he could see his bright yellow cape and green gloves draped across a chair. He couldn’t see his utility belt anywhere.
“Figures, that’d be the first thing they took.” Robin said to himself. “The homing transmitter would make rescue all to easy.”
Then the sixteen year old adventurer made another futile attempt to loosen his bonds. In his mind he reviewed the events leading up to his predicament.
He’d been on the way back from making a personal appearance at the new Gotham Boy’s Club over in West Douglaston when he spotted a dark figure exiting a tenth floor window of the Diamond Exchange. He’d tried Batman on his cycle’s radio but got only static. It would be impossible to follow the figure on the streets, so he bat-roped to the roof and took off after the thief.
Despite his years of circus acrobatic training, continued and improved on by the Batman, Robin was unable to do more than keep the dark figure in sign. Whoever they were—they were good. After about ten minutes he was about to give up, he’d lost the burglar somewhere near the waterfront. Flipping on his portable radio, he was about to check in when he caught a sudden movement off to his right.
The green and red clad boy whirled around and quickly took off across the roof. He was only a few seconds behind his adversary when he suddenly felt himself falling. Robin had only a split second to realize that the rotting roof of this long abandoned building had given way beneath him. Then he was engulfed in darkness.
“Well Dickie boy, you really did it this time.” the Boy Wonder said. “When Batman catches up to you he’s really going to read you the riot act about taking off on your own.”
He really didn’t want to consider the possibility that Batman wouldn’t catch up to him. Or that his captor might have planned a fatal conclusion to the nights adventure.
Who was his captor? That was a good question. Was it the shadowy thief he’d chased across the rooftops? Or was it someone who’d just stumbled upon his unconscious body in that empty warehouse.
One good thing in his favor, aside from a low grade headache and a few minor bruises, he didn’t seem to be hurt. Another thing in his favor was that he was still wearing his mask, meaning that whoever had brought him here didn’t know his Dick Grayson identity. Not that he was famous or anything, but he’d been photographed with Bruce enough times for someone to have seen a picture. If Bruce Wayne’s ward was moonlighting as Robin, could there be any question about who was Batman.
Far off in the distance, Dick heard a clock chiming two. He’d been unconscious for almost three hours. Batman had to be out looking for him by now. But looking where?
For the next twenty minutes that thought dominated his thinking. Without that utility belt, it was going to be pure chance that he was found. Could his captor have already left, abandoning him here. If that was the case, he might never be found.
That morbid concept was suddenly interrupted by the sound of padded footsteps on the roof. Followed by the appearance of a dark form at the edge of the skylight.
“Batman?” Robin whispered under his breath.
Half of the old style skylight opened and the shadowy figure dropped into the room. With a catlike grace the silhouette landed on the hard wood floor. Still covered in shadows, it moved across the room to a light switch next to the door.
“I can tell you’re awake, ” Said a soft melodious voice as she hit the light switch, flooding the room with light. “No sense is trying to hide it.”
Illuminated by the twin rows of track lighting that covered the opposite walls, She stood revealed. Clad in a skintight dark purple jumpsuit, she wore a tight fitting cowl with small cat ears. Although she had never been photographed, Robin had no doubt as to her identity.
“You’re the Catwoman!” He said in an excited voice.
“Well that’s pretty obvious... ” She responded as she walked across the room. “Any other revelations?”
As she stood on front of him, Robin couldn’t help but be impressed by her purple clad body. He’d always thought Batgirl had a hard body, but next to the Catwoman she might as well been a boy.
“I must’ve been out of my mind bringing you up here.” She said as she tossed a small carry bag onto the bed. “If I was the hardened criminal they keep writing about in the papers I’d have left you back in that warehouse. The way some of those rags write about me I should’ve slit your throat, just to keep in practice.”
A slight shiver ran through Robin at that suggestion. Then he told himself that if she wanted him dead, she already had ample opportunity.
“Why did you bring me up here?” Robin asked.
“I was impressed by the way you tried to keep up with me back there at the Diamond Exchange.” She began. “No ones ever even spotted me on a job, and here you were on my heels for over a mile. When I saw you fall through that roof, I doubled back to see how badly you were hurt.”
“To be honest, I only spotted you at the Exchange by accident.” Robin interrupted, figuring better to keep on her good side. “And I was about to give up when you bolted out of that last cubby-hole.”
“Well that makes me feel a little better, ” She said as she smiled. “I take great pride in my abilities.”
She paused as she pulled off her cowl, revealing short black hair. She looked to be about 27, with features more cute than beautiful. Running her fingers across her head, she combed it into an almost boyish style.
“Where was I? Oh yes, I doubled back to see how badly you were hurt. At first glance, your injuries looked a lot worse than they really were. You landed in a pile of garbage bags, they broke your fall. Nothing was broken, I’ve had paramedic training. At first I figured I’d just call an ambulance and get out of there while the getting was good. Then I spotted a group of waterfront dregs already watching from the broken windows. If I left you there, you might not be alive when the boys in white showed up.”
“Thank you, I’m grateful.” Robin said emotionally. “I really mean that.”
“I believe you do” Catwoman replied. “I’ve never killed anyone, never wanted to be the cause of anyone else’s death. Unlike most of those costume clowns running around this city, I’m only in this for the money. Let them play their power trip games while they try and outfox the Police and Batman. I’m content with having never been seen, only glimpsed.”
“Until now... ” Robin said, suddenly feeling a little insecure.
“Until now... ” Catwoman repeated.
A long silence hung in the air until the Catwoman finally spoke again.
“I guess I have to make sure that you can’t tell anyone about the Catwoman.” She said.
Robin’s face went pale with her words and he felt his body grow suddenly cold.
“Since I already passed on my chance to do away with you... ” Catwoman said. “I guess I’ll have to kill the Catwoman instead.”
“What?” Robin asked, certain he had heard wrong.
“Kill the Catwoman.” She repeated. “If she doesn’t exist, then your description doesn’t matter does it?”
Robin let out a sigh of relief.
“I’ve been planning to retire the tights after a few more jobs, ” Catwoman continued. “I guess I should take this as a sign that it’s time. No sense tempting fate. After all, I already have enough money. All safe and sound in the best banks.”
“Catwoman ... I... ” Robin began.
He was cut off as she placed am outstretched index finger against his lips, signifying silence.
“I told you, from this moment on, there is no Catwoman.” She said softly. “My name is Selina.”
“Selina... ” He corrected himself. “I was wondering... ”
“You’re wondering what I’m planning to do with you?”
.... There is more of this story ...